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Choudhury M. Shamim 

This paper seeks to discuss Bangladesh-India relations from a strategic perspective with special focus on 
the 1972 Bangladesh-India Friendship treaty. It delves into the origins of the alliance between the two 
countries and their motivations for signing it. It looks at how the treaty has fared in practice and why 
subsequent regimes did not abrogate it. This author believes that the treaty resulted from the circumstances 
of Bangladesh's independence war and the role that India played in it. The Cold War and the global 
alliance system also had a role. Now that the Cold War is over and Bangladesh is no longer a newly 
emergent nation, is there any need for the continuation of the treaty? 


On April 18, 2001, there was a border skirmish 
between India and Bangladesh in the country's 
northeastern frontier. Sixteen Indian and three 
Bangladeshi border guards were killed. This 
border incident in terms of military casualties 
was "the worst in three decades." A Reuter 
report sketched the following scenario: 

At the crack of dawn... nearly 300 BSF 
troops intruded nearly 600 meters into 
Bangladesh territory by cutting the 
barbed wire fence erected by their 
government in an attempt to capture 
BDR's Boraibari Border Outpost (BOP) 
in Roumari in Kurigram. It was about 
5:15 am when villagers were surprised 
to see advancing BSF troops, firing 
indiscriminately from mortar and 
machine guns. The volleys of gunfire 
and continuous shelling panicked the 
villagers as Indian troops were pushing 
through agricultural lands and dusty 
roads. Only 16 BDR personnel who 
manned the Boraibari BOP 600 meters 
inside Bangladesh territory immediately 
opened fire from light machine guns 
and automatic weapons. The Indian 
soldiers beat a hasty retreat under the 
barrage of gunfire from mounted 
positions in the fortified BDR outpost. 
...Yesterday's attack by nearly half a 
battalion Indian troops was the first by 
the neighboring country since 
Bangladesh's independence, said 
security officials. 1 

There are instances when border clashes have 
signaled a shift in the strategic position of a 

country. The Sino-Indian border clashes of the 
late 1950s led to the Sino-Indian war of 1962. 
Since then China has been a strategic competitor 
of India. In the same way Sino-Soviet border 
clashes and the Damansky island incident of 
1969 led to a rupture in the strategic relationship 
of the two communist powers. Indeed such was 
the breach that it motivated Mao Zedong to seek 
a rapprochement with that arch anti-communist 
American President Richard Nixon, which 
resulted in the Shanghai Communique of 1972. 

The current Bangladesh government sees India 
as a "strategic partner" rather than a "strategic 
competitor." This thinking and philosophy has 
a long history and goes back to the birth of 
Bangladesh and the role India played in it. Many 
Indians think that India created Bangladesh, but 
that the latter has never really showed gratitude 
to the former. This feeling came out very clearly 
as I listened to CBS News in my car radio in Los 
Angeles, California, right after the border clash 
took place. The CBS reporter Ranjan Gupta was 
reporting by telephone from New Delhi. He said 
that Bangladesh border guards had killed 16 
Indian troops. In those few seconds of "live on 
the air" reporting he mentioned that "ironically" 
it was India that had created Bangladesh in 1971. 
The report ended there or was cut off by CBS for 
time constraints. But the implication was quite 
clear; here again was Bangladesh being not only 
ungrateful but downright hostile. But the Awami 
League regime of Bangladesh has always been 
the one that India has favored. In 1971 it was the 
Awami League which spearheaded Bangladesh's 
war of independence and achieved liberation 
from Pakistan Army with Indian help. Soon the 
Bangladesh leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman 
formed a "strategic partnership" with India and 
signed a renewable 25-year peace treaty. The 

current prime minister of Bangladesh Sheikh 
Hasina is wearing the mantle of her father 
Sheikh Mujib and is the leader of the Awami 
League. It is expected that the "basic friendship" 
between India-Bangladesh should continue. 

The boundary disputes that have resulted in the 
above skirmish were supposed to have been 
solved by the signing of the Indira-Mujib 
Boundary treaty of 1974. But while the 
Bangladesh Parliament quickly ratified the 
treaty, the Lok Sobha in New Delhi has not done 
so even after 27 years. Swift Indian ratification 
of the Boundary treaty and the implementation of 
the terms would go a long way in removing 
border problems. In particular, this treaty 
exchanges "Indian enclaves" within Bangladesh 
in return for "Bangladesh enclaves" within India. 
It does a clean swap of each other's enclaves 
designed to remove this kind of border irritants. 
But since the terms of the treaty were never 
implemented the irritants remained and were 
susceptible to exploitation by any side. Indeed 
the Indian attack along the Kurigram border 
came less than 24 hours after Bangladesh Rifles 
(BDR) reclaimed Padua BOP and 230 acres of 
land near Sylhet-Tamabil border after 30 years of 
Indian occupation. 

These border incidents attest to the action- 
reaction or stimulus -response approach. At 
present many parts of the India-Bangladesh 
border remain tense. The solution lies not at the 
tactical-border level but at the strategic- 
governmental level. This article will discuss 
Indo-Bangladesh relations from a strategic 
perspective with special focus on the 1972 
Bangladesh-India Friendship treaty. 

Origins of the 1972 Friendship Treaty 

Bangladesh was a victim of the Cold War 
alliance-system. During its War of Independence 
it was a pawn in the chessboard of super-power 
rivalry. The US tilted toward Pakistan while 
India allied with the Soviet Union. The 25-year 
Bangladesh-India Friendship Treaty resulted in 
Bangladesh moving away from the American 
alliance system to the Soviet sphere of influence. 
At the end of the Second World War the U.S. 
policy of "Containment" was implemented by 
programs of economically assisting and 
militarily equipping all nations which allied 
themselves with the U.S. anti-communist 
crusade. In 1954-55 Pakistan became a member 
of two American sponsored military alliances: 

SEATO and CENTO. 1 It was possibly the 
geographical location of East Pakistan that was 
an important reason for Pakistan joining the 
South East Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO). 
Thus as a part of Pakistan, the territory that is 
now Bangladesh formed a link in the American 
global alliance system and received American 
foreign aid as it trickled down through the 
Pakistan government in Islamabad. 

The emergence of Bangladesh as an independent 
nation and the signing of the Bangladesh-India 
Friendship Treaty in 1972 moved her away to the 
Soviet sphere of influence. In June 1969 Soviet 
leader Leonid Brezhnev had floated the proposal 
for an Asian Collective Security Pact. In the 
1970s the Soviet Union entered into a number of 
"friendship treaties" with Third World nations 
like Egypt, Syria, Iraq, India, Vietnam and 
Afghanistan. The Indo-Bangladesh treaty can be 
seen as a sub-species of these Soviet treaties. An 
analysis of the articles of these treaties reveal an 
almost total similarity. The treaty framework is 
the same in all cases with minor changes arising 
from particular situations. Thus, Bangladesh 
became a Soviet ally's ally. Similarly, Vietnam 
also signed a "friendship treaty" with 
Kampuchea. Both in Kampuchea and in 
Afghanistan such friendship treaties have been 
used as a legal cover for military intervention. 
Seen in these global, regional and security 
perspectives the Indo-Bangladesh treaty is 

The Impetus for the Treaty 

On March 19, 1972, the prime ministers of 
Bangladesh and India, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman 
and Indira Gandhi, signed at Dhaka on behalf of 
their respective governments a "Treaty of 
Friendship, Cooperation and Peace" for a term of 
twenty-five years and renewable by mutual 
agreement. This treaty came only three months 
after the "Victory Day", December 16, 1971, 
when the Pakistan Army surrendered to the Joint 
Command of Indo-Bangladesh forces. 

This article argues that the signing of the Indo- 
Bangladesh treaty was the result of many factors 
and the confluence of many interests, both 
immediate and long-range. The article will seek 
to analyze the conditions and circumstances that 
led the decisionmakers of Bangladesh to 
conclude this treaty and the motivating Indian 
interests behind it. In addition, it will also 
evaluate the nature and scope of the treaty and 


explore its impact from a regional and global 
perspective. Finally, it will analyze how the 
treaty has fared in practice over the last thirty 
years and provide some recommendations for the 

The immediate circumstance that led to the 
signing of the treaty was the need to withdraw 
the bulk of the Indian armed forces from 
Bangladesh and to provide a legal umbrella for 
the Indian troops that were remaining in certain 
parts of Bangladesh. Since December 1971 a 
very large section of the Indian Army was 
residing in Bangladesh and was beginning to 
look like an occupation army. In addition there 
were reports in Bangladesh that the Indian Army 
was sending away vast amounts of arms and 
ammunition left by the surrendering Pakistan 
Army. According to rumors circulating in 
Dhaka at that time, the Indian Army also took 
away not only large quantities of household 
items, furniture and electrical goods left by the 
Pakistanis but was also dismantling industrial 
machineries of abandoned factories. The 
important thing is that the Bangladeshis, long 
subjugated and fearful of external domination, 
totally believed such reports. Thus the Indian 
military was fast losing its image as a friendly 
force in Bangladesh and began to be perceived 
more as an occupation army. Furthermore, the 
members of the Mukti Bahini (Freedom 
Fighters) argued that they were the ones who had 
really achieved the independence of Bangladesh 
and that the Indian Army "just walked in 
Bangladesh when we had already finished the 
job." 2 A logical follow-up of this perception was 
that there was no conceivable reason for the 
Indian Army to continue to reside in Bangladesh. 
In the international sector too, many countries 
were withholding recognition of Bangladesh 
because of the presence of Indian troops there. 
Prime minister Sheikh Mujib thus became aware 
of the necessity for the withdrawal of Indian 
forces from Bangladesh. 

Another argument forwarded is that the 
enormous magnitude of physical destruction of 
Bangladesh, and the resultant economic loss, 
social dislocation and psychological damage was 
a contributory factor in motivating the 
Bangladesh Awami League regime to opt for the 
treaty. Immediately following victory, 
Bangladesh was faced with staggering problems 
that arose in the aftermath of the war in 1971. 
During the War of Independence an estimated 10 
million refugees had taken shelter in India while 

another 20 million people were displaced within 
Bangladesh. While it is impossible to quantify 
the mental and psychological damage wrought 
upon the Bengali people, certain reliable 
estimates of the physical destruction of 
Bangladesh can be ascertained. Total damage 
has been conservatively estimated to be Taka 
12.5 billion, which is about 3 billion U.S. dollars 
(1971). The private sector damage was almost 
three times that of the public, estimated to be 9.3 
billion and 3.2 billion taka respectively. In the 
private sector, housing was the hardest hit as 
whole villages were burnt by the Pakistan Army, 
incurring Taka 8.3 billion loss while in the 
public sector transportation incurred a loss of 
Taka 1.23 billion. 3 While every sector demanded 
immediate attention the first test came on the 
question of rehabilitation of the 10 million 
refugees who had sought shelter in India. As one 
analyst noted, 

"The continuous stream had to be 
provided with instant ration and basic 
transportation to go back where they 
belonged. The sick and disabled had to 
be taken in hand, and minors provided 
with all requisite care. Depleted 
granaries had to be replenished with 
overnight imports, and the disrupted 
communications network restored for 
flow of man and material. Tools of 
production whether in the fields, 
factories or homestead had to be 
repaired and sharpened, raw materials 
had to be contracted for and rushed in to 
feed the productive efforts. Food and 
clothing had to be procured in bulk to 
meet the daily exigencies, each one as 
serious as the other. 4 

The infant Awami League Regime in 1972 was 
clearly ill-equipped for the task. They possessed 
very little administrative and management skill 
necessary for the reconstruction of war-ravaged 
Bangladesh. Other analysts have noted that: "the 
Awami League politicians were generally 
unfamiliar with running a welfare government, 
let alone coping with the calamity that 
confronted them." 5 

Early Ties with India 

During the independence war important bonds of 
"friendship" were forged between the Indian 
decisionmakers and members of the Bangladesh 
Awami League who fled to India following the 


Pakistan Army crackdown on the night of March 
25, 1971. As a result, there developed very 
strong bonds between the two ruling elites. The 
Bangladesh Awami League which worked under 
Indian help and guidance during the war 
naturally fell back on their ally when faced with 
the formidable task of post-war economic 
reconstruction. In the political and military 
areas, too, the Mujib regime needed Indian help. 
Immediately following victory there were many 
pro-Pakistan elements in Bangladesh, especially 
the members of the rightist religious parties, such 
as the Jamat-I-Islami and the Muslim League. 
Mujib perceived it necessary to crush these 
elements and proceeded to jail a substantial 
number of them as "collaborators". But the 
greatest immediate threat to the Awami League 
regime was posed by the ultra-leftist elements. 
During the war various political forces had 
fought together to achieve Bangladesh's 
independence. Mujib in particular feared the 
pro-Chinese radical leftist forces and suspected 
that these groups would not respond to his call to 
all the freedom fighters to surrender their arms. 
These groups espoused the view that the 
salvation of the poverty-stricken masses could be 
accomplished only through a social revolution 
based on the Chinese model and had acquired 
arms and ammunition during the independence 
war. 6 It is interesting to note a general 
proposition on small state foreign policy 
behavior which states that the greater the threat 
perceived by a small country from a third 
country the greater the desire of the small to join 
in an alliance with a large country. 7 And 
although the threat perceived by Mujib was 
domestic in nature, it was not unlikely for such a 
movement to receive external support, especially 
since the forces referred to did espouse a certain 
foreign model. Moreover, the Bangladesh Army 
was still in its infancy and lacked the resources 
to combat the anti-government forces. And as 
one Indian analyst pointed out, Mujib must have 
learned certain lessons from the Pakistani 
example of Praetorianism and Militarism and did 
not want to increase the strength of the 
Bangladesh Army and "run the risks of 
enslavement by it." 8 

Apart from this perception of the threat to 
national security, regime stability, and territorial 
integrity of the country, Bangladesh policy 
makers also succumbed to the Indian view that 
no one can effectively attack Bangladesh - that 
is with land forces - without attacking India 
first. 9 The only power that could attack 

Bangladesh by land was India, especially since 
the former is surrounded on three sides by India 
with no natural frontiers. In the south the Indian 
Navy controls the Bay of Bengal. The only other 
neighbor of Bangladesh is Myanmar (Burma) 
sharing a small boundary in the southeast of 
approximately 200 miles, which consists of 
harsh and difficult terrain. And it was argued 
that such a large military force would be required 
for resisting India that Bangladesh could not 
build it up without first becoming a military state 
and running the risk of enslavement by it. Thus 
it made no sense to build a Bangladesh Army. 
Moreover, it was pointed out that a large military 
establishment was a luxury which Bangladesh 
could ill afford. Implicit in all these arguments 
was the policy prescription that Bangladesh 
should not have an army, at least not one capable 
of defending the country against external forces. 
The argument was that Bangladesh didn't need 
an army to defend its national security. It could 
be done cheaply by signing a treaty with India. 
In other words, India would defend Bangladesh 
from any external threat. Bangladesh would go 
under the Indian defense umbrella and live in 
"peace". In return all Bangladesh would offer is 
its "friendship". As far as internal security was 
concerned India was most willing to help build 
the Bangladesh Rakkhi Bahini (Security Forces) 
trained by Indian officers and supplied by the 
Indian armed forces. 

In addition to the difficult internal situation, 
Bangladesh faced a none too friendly 
international scenario. Two great powers, China 
and the USA were decidedly unfriendly towards 
Bangladesh during her war of independence. 
And the Third World, many of whom possessed 
break-away tendencies and centrifugal forces 
within them, perceiving what amounted to a 
secession of Bangladesh from Pakistan, were not 
overly eager to be friendly either. The bulk of 
the Islamic countries perceiving the break-up of 
a Muslim country with the help of conniving 
communists and polytheists, succumbed to 
hostile Pakistan propaganda and were cool in 
their attitude towards Bangladesh. Beijing and 
Washington were acting in their strategic interest 
and sought to contain Soviet hegemony in South 
Asia. The Third World countries, especially 
those of Africa and Asia composed of 
heterogeneous tribes, groups and sub-nations 
possessed severe centrifugal and divisive 
tendencies and feared that the Bangladesh 
example would encourage secessionist 
movements within their own countries. Thus, 


after independence when Bangladesh sought 
recognition from the World, she faced a difficult 
international situation. In such circumstances, 
Indian diplomatic help became a necessity. 

Indian Motivation and Interests 

The interests that motivated India to conclude a 
treaty with her neighbor were possibly stronger 
than those of Bangladesh. Indian grand design 
has always been to assume the role and status of 
a great power and not just that of a regional 
power. The Indian view is that she possesses the 
potential to become a great power. In her 
attempt to develop that potential she was first 
thwarted by the British who presided over the 
vivisection of the Indian motherland and created 
Pakistan which became a sort of roadblock in the 
path of Indian aspirations. After 1947, Pakistan 
became a perennial security concern for India, 
especially more so when Pakistan joined the U.S. 
and Western alliance system and sought to 
achieve a military balance in the sub-continent. 
In the early 1960s Pakistan initiated an entente 
with China, which accelerated after the Sino- 
Indian war of 1962, further aggravating Indian 
military and security concerns. 

In 1971 the Bangladesh war provided a golden 
opportunity for India to deal a coup de grace to 
the Pakistani counterweight and emerge as the 
pre-eminent power in South Asia. But to think 
that the goal of Indian foreign policy was 
achieved with the emergence of Bangladesh is to 
miss the central point. Indian policy planners 
were not unaware of the fierce long-term 
problems that the independence of Bangladesh 
would give rise to. In the U.N. Security Council 
on December 5, 1971, the Chinese representative 
Huang Hua noted that "the Indian Government 
will only eat the bitter fruits of its own 
making." 10 On December 16, 1971, China noted 
that "India too has its own nationality problems, 
whose complexity and acuteness are rarely seen 
elsewhere in the world." 11 Henry Kissinger also 
emphasized the same theme: 

The inevitable emergence of 
Bangladesh presented India with fierce 
long-term problems. For Bangladesh 
was . . . separated only by religion from 
India's most fractious and most 
separatist state, West Bengal.. .Whether 
it turned nationalist or radical, 
Bangladesh would over time accentuate 
India's centrifugal tendencies. It might 

set a precedent for the creation of other 
Moslem States, carved this time out of 
India. Once it was independent, it's 
Moslem heritage might eventually lead 
to a rapprochement with Pakistan. All 
of this dictated to the unsentimental 
planners in New Delhi that its birth and 
had to be accompanied by a dramatic 
demonstration of Indian predominance 
on the subcontinent." 12 

Such was the thinking and attitude of India's 
chief adversaries. It was therefore necessary for 
India to consolidate her position in South Asia. 
Soon after Partition in 1947 India had entered 
into bilateral treaty agreements with Nepal and 
Bhutan. Thus it was logical from the Indian point 
of view to conclude a bilateral treaty 
arrangement with Bangladesh immediately after 
it's independence in 1971. Otherwise a future 
Bangladesh-Pakistan alliance or even a hostile 
Bangladesh could seriously impair the Indian 
hegemony in South Asia. Such a possibility 
could not be completely overruled. About 85% 
of the population of Bangladesh is Muslim and 
for a quarter century this population has been 
conditioned by Pakistan's propaganda to think of 
India as their number one enemy. Historically 
too, the region that is now Bangladesh had 
formed the hinterland of industrial West Bengal 
and the Bengal Muslims had always perceived 
themselves to have been dominated by the Hindu 

These historical and psychological factors aside, 
the political and economic condition of 
Bangladesh was of concern to India. From the 
Indian point of view an unstable Awami League 
regime was not conducive to its overall political 
and military strategy in the region. A Maoist 
guerrilla movement in Bangladesh could affect 
not only the delicate political situation in West 
Bengal and provide impetus to the Naxalites 
(urban guerrillas) but also to other guerrilla 
movements in Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram, 
all of which the Indian government has sought to 
keep under control with great difficulty. The 
pro-Chinese leftist forces active in parts of 
Northeast India were perceived as a significant 
threat to Indian security. Indeed, during the 
Bangladesh war the Indian government did make 
a conscious effort to restrict the pro-Chinese 
leftist forces of Bangladesh from receiving arms 
and military training in India. 13 


Thus, after independence when the ultra-leftist 
forces having acquired arms, ammunition, and 
training during the war were acting as a threat to 
the Awami League regime, India was naturally 
concerned. There were two ways the Indian 
Government could offer aid to the Mujib regime 
in order to crush the armed opposition and 
achieve governmental stability. First, it could 
help build up the fledgling Bangladesh Army 
through military aid and training in order to 
combat the anti-Bangladesh forces. Second, it 
could offer Indian troops to combat these leftist 
forces. In the light of Indian foreign policy goals 
and interests, the second choice proved more 
attractive, especially because circumstances in 
early 1972 necessitated immediate action against 
a section of the Pakistan Army that had retreated 
into the Chittagong Hill Tracts in Bangladesh. It 
was also necessary to take military action against 
Naga and Mizo guerrilla bases and forces in the 
Chittagong Hill Tracts. 

The option of strengthening the Bangladesh 
Army was anathema to India for a number of 
reasons. First, it might become a future military 
and security concern for India. Second, military 
aid generally strengthens the military elite of the 
recipient nation vis-a-vis the other elites, and in 
the case of a fundamental conflict between 
different elites, the military tends to emerge 
victorious. India had built up significant bonds 
of friendship with the political elite, especially 
the ruling elite in Bangladesh, and therefore had 
no desire to strengthen the military elite to the 
extent that it would pose a threat to the political 
elite: more narrowly, to the Awami League 
regime. Third, the ideological and political 
perceptions of a military government in 
Bangladesh would be fundamentally different 
from those of democratic India, as she well knew 
from her interactions with the military 
government and generals of Pakistan. Thus, it 
was in India's interest to see that the military 
elite should never emerge victorious in 
Bangladesh. But India was not unaware of the 
weakness of the Awami League, which could not 
be called a political party but rather a political 
movement for it lacked the cohesiveness and 
organization in 1971 that are the essential 
ingredients of a political party. As one analyst 
noted, "... the organizational flabbiness of the 
Awami League hardly invite confidence in the 
long-range stability of the government." 14 India 
thus wanted to provide the Awami League with 
military assistance which might become 
necessary in times of crises. The Indo- 

Bangladesh treaty was to provide the legal cover 
for such armed assistance. 

Nature and Scope of the Treaty 

The Bangladesh-India friendship treaty is a 
comprehensive accord covering issue-areas 
ranging from military-security to art, literature 
and sports. The question that generally arises is 
whether the treaty constituted a military alliance. 
To remain objective, this article will use J. D. 
Singer and Melvin Small's classification of 
alliances and evaluate whether Bangladesh and 
Indian were joined in an alliance. Singer and 
Small consider three classes of alliance 
commitment. 15 Class I is called a defense pact, 
which "commits each signatory to intervene with 
military force on behalf of the other(s)." Class 
II, is called a neutrality or non-aggression pact, 
and "commits each to refrain from military 
intervention against any of the other signatories 
in the event that they become engaged in war." 
Class III, labeled entente, "merely requires that 
the signatories consult with one another in the 
contingent eventuality." Singer and Small based 
their classification upon the treaty text itself and 
upon the way an alliance was adhered to in 
practice. While this article will review in 
another section how the Bangladesh-India treaty 
operated in practice, in this section the analysis 
of the nature and scope of the treaty will be 
based on the text only. Article 9 of the 
Bangladesh-India treaty states that: 

Each of the High Contracting 
parties shall refrain from giving any 
assistance to any third party taking part 
in armed conflict against the other 
party. In case either party is attacked or 
threatened with attack, the High 
Contracting Parties shall immediately 
enter into mutual consultation in order 
to take appropriate effective measures 
to eliminate the threat and thus ensure 
the peace and security of their 
countries." 16 

The first sentence of Article 9 of the treaty 
makes it a neutrality pact, that is, the treaty falls 
into Class II of the Singer and Small category. 
But the second sentence of Article 9 makes the 
treaty an entente. Thus following Singer and 
Small's definition it can be said that the 
Bangladesh-India treaty is not a defense pact but 
is a combination of a neutrality or non- 
aggression pact and an entente. That the treaty is 


a non-aggression pact is reinforced by the terms 
of Article 8 which states that the two countries 

...shall not enter into or participate in 
any military alliance directed against 
the other party. 

...shall refrain from any aggression 
against the other party and shall not 
allow the use of its territory for 
committing any act that may cause 
military damage to or constitute a threat 
to the security of the other High 
Contracting Party." 17 

A continuous and dynamic element in the 
bilateral relations of the two countries has been 
introduced by Article 4 of the treaty. It enjoins 
them to "maintain regular contacts with each 
other on major international problems affecting 
the interest of both States, through meetings and 
exchanges of views at all levels." 18 Thus 
Bangladesh foreign policy on major international 
issues or crises would be influenced by Indian 
thinking and ideology. In a way, Bangladesh's 
independence and self-identity became 
contingent upon Indian security, economic and 
other foreign policy interests. 

Similarly, Article 10 emphasizes that the 
signatories "shall not undertake any 
commitment, secret or open, toward one or more 
States which may be incompatible with the 
present Treaty." 19 Clearly, the focus of the 
Bangladesh-India treaty is on military-security 
issues. It is the raison d'etre of the treaty. 
According to Article 10 Bangladesh would be 
unable to enter into any type of security 
arrangements with other nations such as China, 
Pakistan or even the United States because it will 
be seen as incompatible to Indian security 
interests. As a complement to these military- 
security clauses, Article 5 calls for cooperation 
in "economic, scientific and technical fields" as 
well as providing each other the "most-favored 
nation" treatment. Article 6 calls for joint action 
in the fields of "flood control, river basin 
development... hydro-electric power and 

As noted earlier, the Bangladesh-India Treaty 
provides a broad scope for bilateral relations 
calling for the promotion of "art, literature, 
education, culture, sports and health." But the 
promotion of economic, technical and cultural 
relations between the two countries could have 

been conducted through yearly trade and 
economic agreements. The importance of the 
Bangladesh-India friendship treaty lies in the fact 
that it is a long-term accord designed and 
intended for military-security purposes as the 
provisions of Article 8, 9, and 10 clearly show. 

Many in Bangladesh, including Members of 
Parliament had raised in the past the bogey of 
secret treaties signed between Bangladesh and 
India during the independence war (march- 
december 1971). This article argues that the 
Bangladesh-India treaty is a very comprehensive 
accord and a wide number of measures can be 
initiated by the signatories through interpretation 
of its various terms and provisions and thus 
precludes the necessity of any secret military 
treaty or other clandestine agreements. 
Conversely it can be argued that if secret treaties 
did exist, now they have been subsumed under 
the present treaty. 

The Treaty in a Global and Regional 

In 1972, the treaty firmly aligned Bangladesh 
with the Indo-Soviet axis. Although Bangladesh 
did not enter into any treaty commitments with 
the Soviet Union, the former became strongly 
linked with the latter especially since India has 
signed a similar treaty with the Soviet Union in 
August 1971. The Bangladesh-India treaty is a 
photocopy of the Indo-Soviet treaty. For 
example, the Indo-Soviet treaty also pledges 
each party not to enter or participate in military 
alliances directed against the other, or to allow 
its territory to be used militarily for an attack 
against the other signatory. The parties also 
pledge to refrain from giving assistance to a third 
party involved in armed conflict with one of the 
signatories. In the event of attack or threat of 
attack upon one of the parties, mutual 
consultations are provided for to deal with it. 
And, finally each side pledges not to make 
commitments to third states incompatible with 
the treaty. Significantly, the Indo-Soviet treaty 
also covers secret as well as open commitments 
to third parties, reaffirms India's "policy of 
nonalignment" and also includes the specific 
phrase "will not make any commitments that 
may be militarily detrimental to the other side." 21 

Thus from the Soviet point of view it was not 
necessary to enter into any treaty commitments 
with Bangladesh. Moscow acquiesced to treat 
Bangladesh as falling into the Indian sphere of 


influence. In doing so, Soviet strategic and 
political interests were not jeopardized in any 
way. Indeed, it is claimed that the Soviets 
"politely turned down an Indian suggestion in 
December 1971 that they (the Soviets) sign a 
treaty of peace and friendship with the newborn 
nation." 22 The reasons are not hard to find. After 
the war it was thought that the USSR would 
provide substantive economic and technical 
assistance greatly needed for the reconstruction 
of war-ravaged Bangladesh. Sheikh Mujibur 
Rahman's visit to Moscow in March 1972 was to 
have yielded "the major share of a $3,000 
million reconstruction programme." 23 But 
judged from the economic point of view, Mujib's 
trip to Moscow was a dismal failure. The Soviet 
Union made no fresh aid commitments to 
Bangladesh but agreed to unblock the flow of aid 
previously negotiated with Pakistan. In return, 
Sheikh Mujib supported the Soviet position in 
Vietnam, the Middle East and Southern Africa 
and also appreciated Soviet initiatives in the 
United Nations and Eastern Europe. And going 
a step further, Mujib also agreed with Soviet 
leaders that the USSR was a true friend of 
Bangladesh, and obliquely referred to the United 
States and China as enemies, by noting in the 
Moscow Communique that the independence 
struggle had "revealed the true friends and foes 
of the Peoples Republic of Bangladesh as a new 
independent state." 24 It was not Soviet policy to 
pay for something they could have for free. 

The attitude was that since the Soviet Union had 
supported Bangladesh in 1971, the latter should 
now reciprocate by supporting Soviet policies, 
both global and regional. In fact, the Soviets had 
supported the Bangladesh independence struggle 
to further their own political and strategic 
interests in South Asia. The importance of 
Bangladesh to the USSR lay in the new nation's 
role in Moscow's larger strategic scheme for the 
South Asian subcontinent. The Soviet Union 
viewed Bangladesh as another potential link in 
the chain of states stretching from Afghanistan to 
Japan which it hoped to weld into a rigid anti- 
Chinese Asian Collective Security Pact. 
Although the Kremlin has denied that its 
collective security system will constitute a 
military alliance aimed at China, the proposal 
was floated by Brezhnev in June 1969 when the 
Sino-Soviet rift was very apparent and coincided 
with the onset of Soviet military pressure against 
the Peoples Republic of China. 

Thus, the Bangladesh-India treaty among other 
things reinforced the Chinese view that 
Bangladesh was in a real sense the protege of 
India and the Soviet Union. Surprisingly, 
however, the treaty did not seem to adversely 
affect American attitudes towards Bangladesh. 
The United States recognized Bangladesh on 
April 4, 1972, less than a month after the treaty 
was signed, and reaffirmed the intention of the 
U. S. government, "to develop friendly bilateral 
relations and be helpful as Bangladesh faces its 
immense task of relief and reconstruction." 25 

Soon the United States initiated a massive aid 
program to Bangladesh and became the single 
largest donor nation. A major interest of the 
United States was to check the preponderant 
influence of the Soviet Union in post 1971 
Bangladesh and South Asia; and U.S. aid was to 
play "a significant role in arresting Soviet 
penetration of Bangladesh." 26 The United States 
became the largest material force backing the 
Mujib government and her influence began to 
grow steadily in Bangladesh. Thus, neither the 
anti- Americanism of post-independence days nor 
the Bangladesh-India treaty were successful in 
arresting increasing American influence in 
Bangladesh. As time passed, the stars of India 
and the Soviet Union faded on Dhaka's 
diplomatic horizon while that of the United 
States made a significant comeback. 

The Treaty in Practice 

In the last thirty years there have been many 
violations of the treaty, especially of its security 
and military clauses. Most of the violations 
occurred in the post- 1975 period. Article 8 of 
the treaty refrains the parties from allowing "the 
use of its territory for committing any act that 
may cause military damage to or constitute a 
threat to the security of the other" party. But 
after the changeover of government in 
Bangladesh in August 1975, India did provide 
sanctuary and support to anti-Bangladesh forces. 
This had been reported in many international 
journals and newspapers: 

Following the assassination of Sheikh Mujibur 
Rahman in August 1975, and the installation of 
anti-Indian governments in Dacca, substantial 
arms shipments were made clandestinely to the 
Shanti Bahini (the anti-Bangladesh insurgents in 
the Chittagong Hill Tracts). Their cadres were 
trained by men of the Indian Border Security 
Force along with supporters of another, 


Bangladeshi insurgent group, the Kaderia 

Indian arms and ammunition were 
sent in substantial quantities on two 
occasions, in November 1975 and 
later in March 1977. The fall of 
Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi 
in the 1977 Indian election and the 
installation of the Janata 
government meant an end to the 
arms supplies, . . . with the return to 
power of Mrs. Gandhi earlier this 
year [1980], there have been no 
indications of renewed support for 
the Bangladesh insurgents. 27 

Thus the military and strategic "friendship" 
between the two countries envisaged in the 
Bangladesh-India treaty of 1972 evaporated in 
the post- 1975 era and the trend continued during 
the Ziaur Rahman Regime (1975-81) and the 
Ershad era (1982-90). But the treaty was not 
abrogated and indeed the Bangladesh 
government of Khondakar Mustaque Ahmed in 
1975 stressed its intention "to abide by all 
bilateral and international agreements," 28 in 
order to assure India that the Bangladesh-India 
treaty entered into by Mujib would continue. 

The promotion of "art, literature, education, 
culture, sports and health" laid down in Article 7, 
did not meet the great expectations of the 
signatories even during the period (1972-75) of 
cordial-entente between Bangladesh and India. 
The bright prospects of trade between the two 
countries have also been marred by two factors. 
One is the charge of large-scale smuggling of 
goods and commodities along the India- 
Bangladesh borders. The other is the chronic 
unequal balance of trade between the two 
countries. For example, in 1996-97, 16% of 
Bangladesh imports came from India, while only 
1% of Dhaka's exports went to India. 29 Some 
American and Indian analysts think that this 
trade imbalance can be eradicated by selling 
natural gas to India. India is hungry for gas and 
American oil companies would be willing to 
make the necessary investments if allowed to 
export Bangladesh gas to India. Gas exports to 
India has always been a sensitive issue. Even as 
early as 1979, this author heard President Ziaur 
Rahman voicing the possibility of selling gas to 
India in an exclusive seminar in Dhaka. Fierce 
opposition, both within the government and 
outside, nipped such thinking in the bud. More 

recently, in the last three years, "Bangladesh has 
discovered major new gas reserves - some 16 
trillion cubic feet - and more discoveries are 
expected." When the Los Angeles Times asked 
prime minister Sheikh Hasina why her country is 
refusing to sell gas to India, she replied: "One of 
our few resources is gas. After fully meeting our 
domestic requirements and ensuring gas reserves 
for 50 years, the remaining surplus gas may be 
available for export. I don't see a decision on 
export until elections, scheduled for next year 
[2001], are over. 30 It is imperative that the two 
countries must design policies aimed at reducing 
the trade imbalance. But selling gas to India 
cannot be the only means of reducing the trade 
imbalance. Bangladesh should be able to export 
many other goods to India in order to have a 
diversified market. 

Policy Recommendations 

Bangladesh's foreign relations with India ranks 
at the top of the agenda in order of importance 
when compared with other countries. Very few 
countries are more important than India. The 
prime minister or foreign minister of Bangladesh 
must make foreign policy decisions after 
choosing from a wide array of multiple 
advocacies. Those who follow the school of 
Political Realism will espouse the following 
policy prescriptions: 

• The primary obligation of Bangladesh, 
a goal to which all other national 
objectives should be subordinated, is to 
promote its national interest. But who 
defines the national interest? The 
Awami League's definition of the 
national interest would be quite 
different from the national interest 
defined by the Islamic fundamentalist 
political parties. 

• In order to promote the national interest, 
Bangladesh must acquire sufficient 
national power. 

• Because of the anarchical nature of the 
international system, Bangladesh must 
acquire sufficient military capabilities 
to deter attack by potential enemies. But 
today there has been a revolution in 
military affairs. In the 21 st century 
Bangladesh must emphasize and learn 
high-tech warfare and model its army 
accordingly. If the Bangladesh military 


remains in the WWII model it would 
not be able to defend the nation and 
would be a waste of the taxpayers 

While Bangladesh may acquire allies in 
order to increase the state's ability to 
defend itself, the loyalty and reliability 
of its friends and allies cannot be taken 
for granted. 

Bangladesh cannot rely for its defense 
on international organizations such as 
the United Nations. In the same way, it 
cannot rely on International Law or 
world public opinion to safeguard its 

The Realist in Bangladesh would see 
India as a "strategic competitor." It will 
seek to achieve minimum deterrence 
against an Indian attack or invasion. 
Some of the rightist Muslim religious 
parties obviously see India in this light. 
But it is possible to seek a policy of 
cooperation even with a strategic 
competitor. The Clinton Administration 
followed a policy of "strategic 
engagement" with China. In the last ten 
years, US-China trade has increased 
from near zero to more than 110 billion 
dollars today. China thus cannot afford 
to lose this huge American market and 
must behave cooperatively, thought 
Clinton. On the other hand, the 
conservative Republicans would like 
George Bush to treat China the way the 
US treated the Soviet Union during the 
Cold War. That is to follow a policy of 
"Containment" towards China. In this 
light, India-Bangladesh relations should 
espouse a policy of engagement and not 
containment. Unfortunately however 
India-Bangladesh trade is at a very low 
level. To have a policy of engagement, 
trade and economic relations between 
the two countries must increase. 

One kind of policy would be called 
"Finlandization." It is useful to recall 
that the Soviet Union attacked Finland 
in 1939. Finland put up a pretty good 
fight. But after World War II the USSR 
emerged as a superpower and the Red 
Army was too large for Finland to 
handle. Thus throughout the Cold War, 

Finland took great pains not to do 
anything that might annoy its giant 
neighbor. It never joined NATO, the 
military arm of the West designed to 
counter the USSR. 

• On the other hand, although 
Switzerland follows a policy of 
"Neutrality" in international relations, it 
retains an effective and potent military 
force. It is interesting to note that 
immediately after independence, Sheikh 
Mujib wanted to make Bangladesh a 
"Switzerland of the East." If Mujib was 
talking in military terms, then it 
probably meant deterrence. If he was 
talking in economic terms, then it was 
wildly ambitious. If he was talking in a 
foreign policy sense, then it meant 
staying neutral, and not getting involved 
in entangling alliances. 

• Vietnam is another model for the 
Realist. It also has a huge neighbor, 
China, to contend with. Indeed, there 
have been Sino-Vietnam tensions for a 
thousand years. In 1979, China sought 
to teach Vietnam a lesson. The result 
was war. However, Vietnam put up 
very strong resistance against the 
Chinese Army, the PLA. Later, China 
withdrew unilaterally. I do not think 
that Bangladesh can afford to follow the 
Vietnam model. And it is also unlikely 
that India, which is a democracy, would 
seek to teach democratic Bangladesh a 
lesson through warfare. 

• Probably the Canada model is too much 
to hope for. The whole US-Canada 
border is demilitarized. There are no 
military forces along this long border. 
Neither are there any fences to keep 
each other out. Canadian and American 
citizens can freely visit each other 
without any hindrance or visa or even 
passport. It would be ideal if 
Bangladesh and Indian citizens could do 
the same. If the Bangladesh economy 
ever becomes better than the Indian 
economy, it may be possible. Thus 
Bangladesh should aspire to achieve at 
least the level of economic productivity 
of India or better. 


• In the unlikely event that Bangladesh 
suddenly becomes rich, say due to huge 
oil and gas discoveries, it will face a 
different security problem. Because 
Bangladesh is a poor nation with a huge 
population of 130 million, it serves as a 
deterrent to the would-be invader. There 
is nothing to plunder while there would 
be a very high cost of maintaining the 
occupation militarily. Huge oil and gas 
deposits may change that equation. But 
we should cross that bridge when we 
get there. 

• France and Germany provides another 
model. Germany has always been a 
security concern for France, starting 
with the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, 
WWI and ending with World War II. 
The Schuman Plan was devised by the 
French foreign minister and sought to 
integrate the two economies in such a 
way that war would seem unthinkable 
and tremendously costly. Unfortunately, 
the neighboring areas of Bangladesh are 
not very attractive economically. While 
Mexico gained hugely by joining US- 
sponsored NAFTA and France was 
attracted toward Germany, it is difficult 
to envision Bangladesh being attracted 
to Tripura, Meghalaya, Assam and even 
West Bengal. There was a time when 
West Bengal was the most 
industrialized state of India and 
Bangladesh was its hinterland. But that 
was then and this is now. No thanks to 
the Naxalites, West Bengal has fallen 
behind, and other states of India like 
Punjab, Haryana and Maharashtra have 
taken the lead. On the other hand, the 
Assamese don't much like the Bengalis. 
Riots and massacres are not totally a 
thing of the past. Thus economic 
integration with its immediate 
neighbors seems unlikely. Even the 
other neighbor Myanmar has become an 
international pariah and is subject to all 
kinds of sanctions from the major 
economic powers. 

From another perspective, those who call 
themselves Idealists will put forward a different 
set of policies for Bangladesh: 

• Bangladesh must espouse international 
and regional cooperation. 

• It must avoid any bilateral or 
multilateral military alliances. Thus, the 
Idealist would not favor the 1972 
Friendship Treaty with India. 

• It must take an active role in regional 
organizations such as the SAARC 
(South Asian Association for Regional 
Cooperation). However, the SAARC 
has not been very successful at the 
economic level, not to mention its lack 
of success at the political, military and 
strategic levels. 

• Bangladesh must play a strong role in 
the United Nations. It may use the UN 
for dispute settlement Indo-Bangladesh 

• Bangladesh would be in favor of free 
international trade. It would call for the 
establishment of a free-trade area with 
her neighboring countries. 

• Bangladesh would be in favor of 
Globalization that will allow the free 
flow of labor, in addition to the free 
flow of goods and services. 

• Bangladesh cannot afford or agree to 
quasi-globalization that espouses only 
the free flow of manufactured goods 
across state boundaries. That will cause 
massive unemployment and loss of 
local industries. Bangladesh laborers 
must be able to find jobs in other 
countries, both regionally and 
internationally. The building of a fence 
by India on the border of Bangladesh 
runs counter to this policy of the free 
movement of people. 

• Like India has done on its Bangladesh 
border, the US has also built a fence on 
their Mexican border. The idea is to 
stop illegal aliens from Mexico crossing 
onto the American side. But at the same 
time, the US has historically had many 
legal programs that allowed Mexican 
workers to work in America and then go 
back to Mexico. Every year the US 
gives legal residency to almost one 
million people from all over the world, 
many of whom are Mexican citizens. 
The first country that President George 


Bush visited was Mexico. Mexican 
President Vicente Fox has asked the US 
to come up with innovative programs so 
that some Mexican citizens can legally 
work in America. In the same way, 
Bangladesh can ask for India to allow 
some kind of visa program, whether 
temporary or permanent, that will allow 
some portion of Bangladesh labor force 
to work in India. 

• But the best solution is to work together 
to improve each other's economy. 
Because of Mexico joining NAFTA 
(North American Free Trade 
Agreement), her economy has improved 
remarkably. At present, Mexican 
exports to the US is growing strongly. If 
there are jobs in Mexico, then there will 
be little or no flow of illegal aliens to 
the US. In the same way, if the 
Bangladesh economy is healthy and can 
provide jobs to its citizens, then there 
can be no question of Bangladesh labor- 
flow to India. The building of a fence 
on the border and the harassment of 
Bangladesh laborers within India are 
counter-productive to the healthy and 
peaceful development of India- 
Bangladesh relations. 

• The Idealist will also be against 
economic nationalism and 
protectionism. But because Bangladesh 
is a least developed country, it must get 
long-term relief to safeguard her infant 
industries, such as the garment 
factories. It is in this line that Prime 
Minister Sheikh Hasina said: "I urged 
Clinton to grant Bangladeshi products 
duty-free and quota-free access to the 
United States. In recognition of 
Bangladesh's leading role in 
eliminating child labor from the 
garment industry, it should have been 
rewarded much earlier." 31 Bangladesh 
garment industry will face increasing 
competition from India and China, 
among others. 

• The Idealist in Bangladesh will also 
espouse regional identity. For example, 
while Hitler wanted German-dominated 
Europe, today we are seeing a Europe- 
dominated Germany. In other words, 
Germans are becoming Europeans. In 

the same way, Indians and Bangladeshis 
and Pakistanis should become South 
Asians. Instead of an Indian sub- 
continent we should have a South Asian 
sub-continent. Just like Germany is 
sharing power and leadership within the 
European Union, India must do the 
same within South Asia. Indian 
nationalism and hegemony must give 
way to internationalism and good 

• Bangladesh should also emphasize 
shared democratic values with India. 
Indeed, Immanuel Kant in his book 
Perpetual Peace (1795) noted that no 
two democracies would go to war with 
each other. Thus, one goal should be the 
building of enduring and deep-rooted 
democratic structures in both India and 


In Bangladesh there have been much criticism 
against the treaty with India. The issue was also 
mentioned in the Parliament by a few opposition 
members. The question that is often asked is 
whether the treaty benefits Bangladesh and if 
not, why should Bangladesh still adhere to it? 
Article 1 1 notes that the "present treaty is signed 
for a term of twenty five years" and "subject to 
renewal by mutual agreement." Therefore the 
treaty was supposed to expire in 1997 unless 
renewed. Under these circumstances if the 
Bangladesh government unilaterally declares the 
treaty null and void, or refuses to renew it, that 
might create some concern in the minds of 
Indian foreign policy decision-makers. It will 
also have other implications. For example, 
having reneged on one international 
commitment, doubts will be cast on 
Bangladesh's credibility, that is, on her 
willingness and ability to live up to other 
international commitments. In the sphere of 
foreign policy, it is sometimes better to hold a 
position of strategic ambiguity than to be blunt 
and clear. 

The geopolitical realities of Bangladesh are such 
that it can hope to benefit little by initiating an 
inimical relationship with India. The unilateral 
abrogation of the treaty by Bangladesh will have 
serious repercussions on Indo-Bangladesh 
relations and which is not desirable for either 


country. In the decade of the 70s, Bangladesh 
has been able to execute an independent foreign 
policy without violating the terms of the treaty in 
any way. In the 90s with the end of the Cold 
War and the breakup of the Soviet Union, the 
global alliance-system has dramatically changed. 
But India is still friendly with Russia in spite of 
initiating market reforms since 1991. The Sino- 
Indian geopolitical realities have sharpened since 
the nuclear tests conducted by India in May 
1998. In reaction, the nuclear tests of Pakistan in 
the same month has made South Asia "the most 
dangerous place in the world," according to 
former American President Bill Clinton. 
Although the Cold War is over in the world, in 
South Asia it lingers and often escalates into a 
shooting war in a limited or regional scale. And 
Bangladesh is caught in the middle of it all, 
requiring brilliant diplomacy and artful 
negotiation in order to maneuver and survive. In 
the 21 st century it has to rethink its policies 
towards South Asia and try to steer a safe course 
in increasingly dangerous waters. 


1 Although the United States was not a member 
of CENTO (Central Treaty Organization), she 
had bilateral military understanding with all 
CENTO members. 

y Ibid. 

10 Speech of the Permanent Representative of the 
Peoples Republic of China, Huang Hua on 
December 5, 1971. 

"ibid, December 16, 1971 

12 Henry Kissinger, The White House Years 
(Boston, Little Brown, 1979). 

13 Based on my personal experiences and 
discussions with other Mukti Bahini guerrilla 

14 Bhabani Sen Gupta, "Moscow and 
Bangladesh", Problems of Communism , March- 
April 1975, Vol. 24, p.62. 

15 J. D. Singer and Melvin Small, "Alliance 
Aggregation and the Onset of War, 1815-1945" 
in J. D. Singer (ed.) Quantitative International 
Politics: Insights and Evidence, (New York, 

16 See the "Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation 
and Peace Between the Peoples Republic of 
Bangladesh and the Republic of India?, 
Bangladesh Documents (Dacca), Vol. 1, No. 2, 

Quoted in Talukder Maniruzzaman, 
"Bangladesh in 1975: The Fall of the Mujib 
Regime and its Aftermath", Asian Survey , Vol. 
16, No. 2, February 1976, p. 122. 

3 Bangladesh: Contemporary events and 
documents, 1971 . Bangladesh: Ministry of 
Foreign Affairs, External Publicity Division, 

4 Ibid ., emphasis mine. 



18 Ibid. 

19 Ibid. 



See the "Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation 
and Peace between the Republic of India and the 
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics." 

CLE. Kim and Lawrence Ziring, An 
Introduction to Asian Politics (Englewood Cliff, 
N. J.: Prentice Hall, 1977), p.235 

6 Maniruzzaman 1976 , p.l 19. 


Cited in Sen Gupta 1975 , p.61. 

Cited in Wayne A. Wilcox, The Emergence of 
Bangladesh , (Washington, D.C.: A.E.I., 1973), 

George Liska, Nations in Alliance , (Baltimore, 
1962), p. 13 

8 Pran Chopra, "Bangladesh in Search of a 
Role", India Quarterly , Vol. 28, No. 2, 1972, 


Asian Recorder , Vol. 18, No. 13, 1972, 

p. 10682. 

25 Keesings Archives , 1971-72, p.25196. 


G. W. Choudhury, "Moscow's Influence in the 
Indian Sub-continent", The World Today 
(London, July 1972), p.311. 

27 F.E.E.R. Asia Yearbook 1981 . 

28 Maniruzzaman 1976 , p. 126. 

29 The Europa World Yearbook 1999 (London: 
Europa Publications, 1999), p. 567. 

"Sheikha Hasina: Bangladesh Leader Aims to 
Make Nation More Than a Symbol of Poverty." 
Los Angeles Times Interview, December 3, 
2000. p. M3. 

31 Ibid. 

Choudhury M. Shamim 
Associate Professor of Political Science 
California State University-Fullerton 
cshamim @ exchange